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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure IE-1949-1/2483 – measures in Ireland

IDA Ireland

IDA Ireland

Country Ireland , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 01 January 1949
Context Restructuring Support Instruments
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Reorientation of business activities
– Matching/networking
Author Roisin Farelly (IRN Publishing) and Eurofound
Measure added 23 June 2022 (updated 11 November 2022)

Background information

IDA Ireland (formerly known as the Industrial Development Authority) was founded in 1949 and it is a government agency that provides information and statistical data on key business sectors and locations within Ireland. It also provides assistance in setting up a business in Ireland.

IDA Ireland is funded by the national government.

Content of measure

The body introduces potential investors to local industry, government, service providers and research institutions. It offers international investors advice regarding property in Ireland, with the aim to attracting them to Ireland.

IDA Ireland works with companies operating in high end manufacturing, global services (including financial services) and research, and development and innovation. The key sectors within these areas for investment are: life sciences (pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical and medical technologies); information communications technology (ICT); engineering; professional services; digital media, consumer brands; and international services.

Examples of IDA Ireland clients include : Essentire, Intel, Dell, Indeed, Microsoft, Pramerica, Medtronic, Google, Prometric, IBM, Amazon, TikTok, Zendesk, WuXi, Stryker and Qualtrics.

Use of measure

The IDA Ireland 2021 annual report shows that IDA Ireland client companies had direct employment of 275,384, up 7% on the previous year.

IDA has the following indicators of success for 2021:

  • Total of Investments Approved: 249
  • Number of Greenfield Projects: 104
  • Number of Expansion Projects: 87
  • Number of Research, Development & Innovation Projects: 43
  • Investment in Research, Development & Innovation Projects: €1.34 billion
  • % of investments that located outside Dublin: 53%
  • % of jobs approved outside Dublin: 47%
  • Total R&D in-house expenditure: €2.8 billion

IDA Ireland has a consistent record in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) to Ireland.

It is increasingly focusing its efforts on attracting business to parts of Ireland outside of Dublin (in 2021, 53% of IDA-supported employment was outside Dublin). 

It has also focused energy towards mitigating Brexit-related negative impacts, emphasising EU membership, labour mobility, the common law system, and the English language. IDA approved over 80 Brexit-related investments with over 5,300 jobs, as of June 2019.

However, Ireland is considered to be too reliant on foreign direct investment (FDI), on which the work of FDI Ireland is largely concentrated.

Over 70% of direct employment amongst IDA client companies in Ireland is from USA-owned companies, which, in the context of potential increased repatriation of American businesses, would suggest vulnerability. 

In 2022, it was noted that funding approval by IDA Ireland was double the level of drawdown, suggesting a budgetary management imbalance

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement as case not in social partner domain No involvement as case not in social partner domain
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown


No involvement

Views and reactions

There are no espoused views of the social partners on the work of IDA Ireland. During company restructurings, the paths of the IDA and trade unions might cross but they generally work separately.



Eurofound (2022), IDA Ireland, measure IE-1949-1/2483 (measures in Ireland), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.